Riptide

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Chapter 7

My head throbbed, my lungs burned, my eyes stung, my arms shivered, my legs bled and my heart beat faster than it ever had before. A light brighter than one I had seen glared into my eyes as they slowly began to focus. I was on a table surrounded by doctors and nurses. Someone put a clear plastic mask over my mouth and nose. They flipped a switch which suddenly flooded my burning lungs with oxygen. It was like taking a big, wonderful breath of clear air after only ever breathing in pollution.

A doctor with eyes so dark they seemed almost black and a big yellow tie with polka dots in every color of the rainbow seemed to have noticed the fact that I was conscious and noted something on a clipboard by the table. “Patient alive and contemplating,” he said with a smile at me. I tried to smile back but ended up with a face far from that of a smile. I began to remember what had happened and my hand quickly went to the spot the necklace Charlie had given me normally laid. It wasn’t there but a sudden pain in my head kept me from doing anything else. I knew what was happening.

“Am I dying?” I managed to utter after a few tries. All eyes turned to me, each with a spark of shock.

They stumbled to answer before finally, the man with the Yellow-Tie answered, “no you’re not dying, you’re going to be just fine,” he said this with such hesitance. I could sense there was something else to the story but he couldn’t find the words to answer.

After this, a long spurt of absolutely nothing. I was surviving but not living. I couldn’t move, open my eyes, or breathe on my own, but I could hear everything. “I had a sleepover,” I thought sadly to myself.

The very first thing I heard was my name, it was loud and clear. “Oliv,” my mother said. “Her name is Oliv.”

“Fine,” a man said. I recognized his voice. It was “yellow-tie-guy.” “Oliv has a ten percent chance of surviving the procedure.”

“What procedure?” my mind screamed. “I don’t like those odds! Don’t do something with a ninety percent likelihood of failure, know from basic statistics how dumb that is,” I roared, but no one answered. They couldn’t hear me.

“Are there any alternatives?” my mother asked quietly.

I could hear Dr. Yellow-Tie shuffling his weight across his two big feet. “Yes,” he said solemnly. “We pull the plug.”

“I take it back,” I shrieked, terror echoing through my otherwise silent void. “I would prefer to live, please.”

“Can you get my husband and daughter?” she asked. He agreed. I could hear footsteps as he walked across the room and closed the door behind him. My mother took my hand in hers. “Stay strong,” she whispered in my ear.

“That’s my only option, right now,” I said, listening to my voice echo in my little world of nothingness.

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